By now, I’ve seen all of my favourite bands live, but this was just something else; three dudes playing the easiest and most straightforward music, with no gimmicks to hide behind.It was just loud, rude, and done with such disregard to everything else that you just couldn’t help but shake your head and try to grasp the whole thing. For some reason, I’ve kept on checking out new Motörhead releases to this day.It is clear as day that had Lemmy not taken his path, I would have developed into a totally different person than I did. There is this joke in the 1994 movie ‘Airheads’ that goes something like this: “Who would win in a wrestling match, Lemmy or God? No, God.” But neither is true: “Wrong, dickhead, trick question. He lived by a slogan familiar to Icelandic metallers as the motto of the Eistnaflug festival: “Don’t be a dick.” A simple sentiment, but he took it all the way, and it’ll live on in his wake.
What's more, his staple tipple of Jack Daniel's and Coca-Cola - consumed almost non-stop, from breakfast-time onwards, since the late Seventies - was now completely off-limits because it played havoc with his diabetes.
It sounded like a dramatic move for a man who boasted of needing between a bottle and a gallon of bourbon per day to function normally, and who once said he never got hangovers because 'to get hangovers you need to stop drinking'.'Lemmy has swapped from Jack and Coke to vodka and orange,' his interviewer reported, adding helpfully that 'his assistant wonders if swapping from one 40pc spirit topped with sugar to another 40pc spirit topped with sugar is really going to help.'Lemmy passed away on Monday, less than a week after celebrating his 70th birthday, and only two days after being diagnosed with an 'extremely aggressive' form of the disease that purportedly affected his head and neck.
He was one of the good ones, one of the great ones. Lemmy was and is a huge inspiration, reaching old age, still touring, still living the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, never giving up, continually doing what he loved. Let’s keep his memory alive, and play Motörhead loudly! Lemmy was a ridiculously fun guy, at least from a distance, and a true pioneer in creating ironic tough guy noise.
I also highly recommend checking out his work with Hawkwind, it’s awesome. It was always interesting how much he loved The Beatles.
Anyway, I pull out some Motörhead Best Of album and ask the staff if they like it. The guy in the middle had such a cool beard and sunglasses, majestic long hair, and two huge warts on his cheek. It had all the hits: “Ace of Spades,” “Killed By Death,” and “Bomber”—the last of which became my favourite.
Motörhead have remained with me since then, and unlike the other bands I listened to at that time, they’ve never stopped being cool.
Indeed, some might argue that his personal habits even eclipsed his music.
For the truth was that, though Lemmy's career in hard rock spanned half a century, it produced surprisingly few commercial hits.
He was ugly, smelly, loud, drunk, even crappy at times, but he was always true to himself. He also sang few words, and with a limited vocal range—but in a manner that made every single one count.